As designer and retail queen, Alex Eagle, curates a selection of lots from Sotheby's Fine Jewels Online sale, we chat to her about the inspiration for her eponymous retail concept store Alex Eagle Studio, her personal style icons and her taste in jewelry. And click through to see Alex modelling her choices from the sale.
You began her career at Tank and Harper’s Bazaar magazines and worked in PR for British fashion retailer Joseph. What inspired you to open Alex Eagle Studios?
"My first shop on Walton Street was an organic progression from what I was doing more and more from my flat, where I was selling photography and furniture alongside styling and dressing clients. I have always adored fashion, art and design and it was a dream project to be able to create a space where all these elements could be sewn together, where people could not only shop but come and be inspired."
What do you look for in brands when you are editing Alex Eagle Studio’s retail offering?
"Craftsmanship, beautiful fabrics and items made to last a lifetime are always key to our edit - we are drawn towards pared back, seasonless, timeless items that feel good now and forever, helping to build a lasting and beautiful wardrobe.
With design and homewares, I have an obsession with beautiful yet practical objects - vases, ceramics, glasses etc. that are both expertly crafted and usable for your everyday life."
Your SoHo loft is amazing. Is The Store inspired by your home?
"My home often acts as a trial space for new art and furniture, and vice versa. I am always switching pieces in and out to keep things fresh and interesting."
You’ve curated such an amazing collection of art – what is your favourite piece or art?
"The Tanya Ling Line Paintings have always been a firm favourite, and was one of the first exhibitions we hosted at Alex Eagle - it has become synonymous with my store, home and style."
Who are your style icons?
"Peggy Guggenheim is a lifelong hero and style icon – she was so pioneering and effortlessly cool and creative. The actress Charlotte Rampling combines French and English timeless style beautifully and with such ease."
What is your go-to outfit for everyday wear?
"One of my Alex Eagle Bespoke suits, with a white shirt or tee shirt or for a more casual look a cashmere jumper or roll neck with jeans or cigarette pants, and a blazer or great coat. And Veja trainers with every look."
You picked some real statement pieces of jewelry – do you need to be brave to wear bold jewelry?
"Absolutely not, gone are the days when you keep things for Sunday best. I find that when you are wearing a pared back suit you can go big with the jewelry and laying of different pieces; it only adds to the fun - sometimes less isn’t always more!"
Vintage jewelry or modern jewelry?
"I am a fan of mixing new with old. From your wardrobe to your home, it’s always been a very English look to have a combination of styles, and it's something I apply to my own work. I love to wear new additions with old favourites and make them work together."
Who is your favourite designer?
"Aldo Cipullo for Cartier – it’s just as fresh and modern now as it was then. Same goes for Catherine Noll – there is something so tactile and organic about her 70s designs."
Your engagement ring is Hemmerle. How did you decide what you wanted?
"I spotted a ring on one of my good friends, Lily Hanbury, who has great taste in jewelry. I fell in love with the minimalist, almost industrial but luxurious, look and designed something new and personal to me that felt fun and wearable."
For someone who is just starting a jewelry collection, what advice would you give?
"People are more conscious of looking for fair-trade and recycled stones and gold - I think this is a great starting point for building a timeless collection and making sound investments. Don’t be swayed by fashion and trends; instead choose things that resonate with you, that feel unique and different, and people will respond."